Lowes vinyl floors, a popular flooring choice for gymnasiums, have long been a favorite of gym users.
But new research from the University of Maryland shows that the flooring’s durability is far more important than its aesthetics.
The team found that vinyl floors could have far less impact on your health if they were used with care, not just because of their durability but also because of the material’s high strength.
The team also noted that a good gym floor can last up to 15 years, whereas low-quality flooring can have a lifespan of up to 30 years.
In a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers found that, on average, flooring that had been treated with the “superwash” treatment lasted 14.6 years.
That’s less than the recommended lifespan for vinyl floors of 30 years, which is about 6.5 years.
But flooring treated with “superwashing” lasted an average of 21.6 months, which was also less than a year less than what the researchers considered acceptable for flooring.
The researchers also compared flooring from low-sulfur flooring with high-salt, high-viscosity flooring and found that the former had the lowest risk of disease and the best health benefits.
The authors note that the results do not mean that the health benefits of flooring containing only high-quality, sustainable materials outweigh the risk of health risks associated with these materials.
“Our research shows that these materials can be used safely and efficiently in many settings,” said senior author Elizabeth P. Johnson, a graduate student in the Department of Physical Therapy.
“But there is much more to consider before choosing one material to use in your gym or home gym environment.”
For example, floor materials are often chosen to be more durable because they’re easier to maintain, the study found.
A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed that home gym floor mats were more durable than gym mats used for recreational activities.
But the researchers also found that home gyms were still the most common setting where people use home gypsum.
While some flooring companies claim they use the same “super washing” process for vinyl and high-spice flooring in the United States, Johnson and her colleagues found that most floors that were treated with superwash had a higher level of sulfate content and lower strength.
This could explain why they had higher rates of mold growth and higher levels of dust in the floor.
“We are hoping this research will inspire consumers to reconsider the use of floor materials that are made with these high-fructose corn syrup chemicals,” said Dr. John P. McInerney, a professor of physical therapy and environmental health at the University at Albany.
“The best floor for your gym is a high-strength, low-spicy, non-stick floor that is well-treated with a variety of natural, sustainable ingredients,” he said.
“We recommend that consumers use our flooring products to achieve this goal.”